Please, Please Me!
it's all about you!
By Alison Dea Bolt
Although love means never having to say you’re sorry, being in customer service means always having to say you’re sorry! I just couldn’t handle it. I’ve been married 31 years. "It’s my fault" and "I apologize" simply aren’t phrases my lips form easily. Let’s face it; dealing with the public every day is no picnic. It’s exhausting and requires a real love of other human beings. I like people too, but I’m pretty sure I’d run out of "nice" by noon.
Keepsake guarantees total customer satisfaction, and their reps provide personal service to ensure it. You don’t find yourself hopelessly lost in maddening phone menus or shunted off to voicemail. When I last called, I had an actual person in 40 seconds-one of the many reassuring souls who treat the confused, the chatty, and the cranky with unflagging courtesy and good humor. They have a kindergarten teacher’s patience, an iguana’s thick skin, and a diplomat’s tact. How else could they routinely field questions like “How big is a 10" square?” and “What do you mean I can get four 5" squares out of them? Ten divided by five is two!”
Order problems are addressed and resolved, some quicker than others. An irate quilter complained that she had “specifically” ordered thread that came off the spool clockwise. The product she got came off backwards; she intended to return it. When the rep softly suggested flipping the spool, suddenly the clouds parted. Sometimes it isn’t that simple and reps get an earful. After spending 30 minutes tracking down a “lost” order and being accused of ruining the frustrated quilter’s project, the rep discovered the order had been placed with a different company. Unfazed, the customer asked her to call that company and locate it!
Many customers ask for help in finding creative ways to conceal purchases from inquisitive spouses. “Can you send it in an unmarked box?” “Will you make sure it arrives before he gets home from work?” “Would you keep it under your desk until I can come pick it up?”
They do have their limitations though, including not having committed to memory all the patterns on 12,000 bolts of fabric. Customers calling to order things like “the purple print with the pretty leaves on it” probably should provide more info than “I saw it on the floor next to the cutting table!”
Every day yields surprises, many in the form of misdialed phone numbers. There is more of a difference between 800 and 900 numbers than just one digit, as one KQ rep discovered. When “Freddo” called and began discussing his affection for feet, what could she do but politely explain to him that KQ doesn’t do feet….just yards.
I take fabric collecting pretty seriously, but life or death? An obviously agitated quilter called KQ to see if her monthly Medley™ package had been mailed. Before the rep could answer, she heard someone yelling “Get out, NOW!” It was a fireman. The quilter’s home was ablaze and she was afraid the fabric wouldn’t be delivered to a burned-out shell. The unflappable rep told her “Run! We’ll replace it if it gets lost.” I’ve tried to tell my husband Keepsake is a life saver. Now I can prove it!
Alison Bolt lives in Littleton, New Hampshire, and is a regular columnist for Quilters Newsletter magazine.